Wrestling legend “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton died on August 4, leaving behind quite a legacy and four decades in the ring, according to Sports Illustrated. He was 62. Eaton was known as one-half of the Midnight Express tag team, along with his long-time partner Dennis Condrey, and their manager Jim Cornette. The duo originally teamed together in 1983, and throughout the ’80s, had an iconic feud with the tag team Rock n’ Roll Express. Eaton believed his talents were best used with a partner. “I can come up with good ideas in a tag match, but I suck at singles matches,” he told Kayfabe Memories.
The wrestler’s sister, Debbie Eaton Lewis, announced her brother’s death in a Facebook post. “I never wanted to have to post this, but my Little Brother Beautiful Bobby Eaton passed away last night,” she wrote (via Bleacher Report). After the news broke, many members of the wrestling world mourned Eaton’s death. “So sad and sorry to hear about my close friend and one of the all time greats, Bobby Eaton!” wrestling icon Ric Flair tweeted. “My heart goes out to the family, friends, and fans of Bobby Eaton. One of a kind talent whose skill in the ring made it look so real,” former WCW senior vice president Eric Bischoff wrote.
The tag team legend got his start in the business setting up wrestling rings at only 13 years old, per DDT Digest. Keep reading to see how lucrative his decades-spanning career was.
Bobby Eaton was a thrill to watch for decades
Bobby Eaton loved wrestling well before he was a professional, and endured many hardships in order to make it in the business. To get his juices flowing, the wrestler always drank a cup of coffee before a match, which led to awkward moments during his unglamorous early days. “I’d have to go to the concession stand, there was nothing backstage,” Eaton recalled to DDT Digest in 1999. “So, there I am, in my wrestling tights, waiting in line along with all the fans at the concession stand.”
In the ’80s, promoter Bobby Watts recruited Eaton and his partner Dennis Condrey with a promise of a substantial pay raise. “He told me, ‘Bobby, I guarantee that you’ll make more money than you’ve ever made before.’ And I did. He lived up to his word, but damn did we deserve it,” Eaton recalled to PW Torch (via Slam Wrestling).
The wrestler made his money over decades with the WCW, and the WWE (then-WWF) tried to poach him, but he enjoyed the WCW and stayed, per Kayfabe Memories. “I love this company and, above all,” he told DDT. “WCW has been good to me, and continues to be good to me.” Decades in the ring paid off for Eaton, and his net worth was valued between $4 million and $7 million at the time of his death, per Biography Daily. He will be missed.
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